ADA, Mich. (March 16, 2014) — David Theule hasn’t been able to bottle any maple syrup this year.
Theule’s been in the maple syrup business for 45 years. He can count on one hand the number of times this has happened. He normally expects to have maple syrup produced and bottled by early March.
“It’s been a little harder than normal, and we’re a little late,” Theule said.
As Theule and his grandson, Daniel Smith, explained to FOX 17, tubes are used to collect sap from their 1,200 trees. Six miles of tubing were laid on the ground before the snowfall. The sap is supposed to be collected to turn into syrup.
However, two ice storms and several feet of snow later, many of those tubes are still buried and frozen.
“The last time we were this late was 1980, according to our records. Also ’78 was this late and also ’72,” Theule recalled.
A furnace is a part of the process to boil the sap into maple syrup. “We got a little bit of the sap in here,” said Smith.
He said they’re trying to produce what little they can.
“A good year was last year, a very long season and we didn’t have that much snow to work with,” Theule explained. In the average year his farm will produce 300 gallons of maple syrup, he said.
“Some of the later seasons can be very good if the cold weather stays on into April. But, then it could end very quickly too, and most of us want spring to come,” he said.